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Is reading the Haftarah a Minhag?

I know that the practice was instituted when we couldn't publicly read torah, and then it was kept. Does that make it a Minhag?

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I'd guess no, cuz it has it's own beracha and we generally refrain from making berachot on minhagim (consider "chavit chavit velah barich" on hoshana rabba) –  Baal Shemot Tovot Apr 11 '12 at 14:34
    
I assume you're asking about reading the haftarah, which (as I understand it) was originally done at a time when we weren't permitted to publicly read torah? –  Monica Cellio Apr 11 '12 at 14:40
    
@Monica Cellio. I think it added was when the Romans banned torah study. –  Ari A Apr 11 '12 at 14:58
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@Daniel Lee. They couldn't have been added before we got the torah because the texts are taken from neviim and ketuvim which were written long after we got the torah. We couldn't have read them before they were written. –  Ari A Apr 11 '12 at 15:05
    
@AriA Greeks (well, Syrian-Greeks), not Romans. –  yoel Apr 11 '12 at 15:24
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משנה ברורה in ס' רפד ס'ק ב says that it began as a custom to say when public torah reading was banned, and was subsequently enacted as a גזרה. This would appear to be backed by earlier authorities, as רמ'א quotes תשובות הרמב'ן in that סימן describing the 'תקנה' of הפטרה, as opposed to just a מנהג.

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